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All the worlds are connected; the lower one serves as a throne for the higher one.

Levels of Souls

Levels of Souls

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Thirty-Five, Section 1


We have already explained that Cain and Abel took the nefesh of Atzilut that had been in Adam. The following is the explanation:

As is known, all the worlds are connected to each other. Thus, after man rectifies the world of Asiya, he can ascend to the world of Yetzira, and keep ascending even to Atzilut, as it says in the Zohar at the beginning of the portion Mishpatim. "If he merits more, they give it to him." This is, as already explained in previous discussions, only true of a ‘new soul’, which can ascend from world to world [in one lifetime], as mentioned there.

The worlds were made by G‑d, from the Torah, for the souls.

The worlds were made by G‑d, from the Torah, for the souls. "The Holy One blessed be He and the Torah and Israel are one." (Zohar II) The worlds follow the order of the Divine name outlined in the Torah and according to the soul roots. Just as the letters of the name are one and inter-connected, so are all souls and all worlds. It follows that the souls are able to ascend from rung to rung. Each time someone ascends, it is a new stage in revealing the oneness.

Thus we find that all the worlds are connected, and the lower one serves as a throne for the higher one.1There are levels of souls that are only able to rectify the level of the nefesh of Asiya while some can reach Yetzira, others Beriya, and some can even reach as high as Atzilut. However, they are a small minority among all the soul-roots.

This ability exists, though, only among the soul-roots of Cain and Abel, since they are new souls in some respects as explained, and they therefore can merit to rectify and receive even the nefesh of Atzilut, but no more. However, the rest of the souls are called ‘old souls’, and they cannot receive the nefesh of Atzilut - if only they would merit to receive the neshama of Beriya!

The soul-roots of Cain and Abel have two levels.

The soul-roots of Cain and Abel have two levels. The first is the level of the souls of Cain and Abel themselves, souls that fell off and remain in the worlds of BY"A [Beriya-Yetzira-Asiya] only. There is a second and higher level, the portion of Adam himself which he gave to his sons Cain and Abel as an inheritance. It seems to me that it is a spark from the father himself put into the nefesh of the son to guide them.

This is part of why the child must honor the parent. The honor fuels that spark to manifest in the person and help him fully. This is the main inheritance. Other aspects of inheritance such as finances and objects are actually branches of this.

The second level is drawn from all worlds, that is, from the nefesh of Asiya to the nefesh of Atzilut. Thus, any person whose soul is from this second level is on a great level, because he can rectify from the nefesh of Asiya until the nefesh of Atzilut the first time he enters the world. Through this he can merit to receive the nefesh of Atzilut. Not, however, the ruach or the neshama of Atzilut, since they are not completely new souls, as mentioned.

I have already explained in previous discussions that regarding this second rung which Adam gave to Cain and Abel as an inheritance, there are two levels, ohr makif and ohr penimi. All the souls of this level, as already explained, for example, Issachar, Rabbi Akiva, and Hezekiah - all of them are from the ohr hapenimi of this level. So too was Elijah the Prophet z"l from the ohr hapenimi of this level. Later, Nadab and Abihu, who were from the ohr makif of the nefesh of Atzilut of this second level, came to him in ibur [an added soul] .

Each level is a springboard to reach to one above it. Just as wheels propel a vehicle to where it wants to go, so does each level lead what is above it to the place it wants to go. A king sits on his throne and relates to his subjects, so is the world beneath a medium for the one above it to express and give its flow to the places that receive from it.
Rabbi Yitzchak Luria […Ashkenazi ben Shlomo] (5294-5332 = 1534-1572 c.e.); Yahrtzeit (anniversary of death): 5th of Av. Buried in the Old Cemetery of Tzfat. Commonly known as the Ari, an acronym standing for Elohi Rabbi Yitzchak, the
G-dly Rabbi Isaac. No other master or sage ever had this extra letter Aleph, standing for Elohi [G-dly], prefaced to his name. This was a sign of what his contemporaries thought of him. Later generations, fearful that this appellation might be misunderstood, said that this Aleph stood for Ashkenazi, indicating that his family had originated in Germany, as indeed it had. But the original meaning is the correct one, and to this day among Kabbalists, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria is only referred to as Rabbenu HaAri, HaAri HaKadosh [the holy Ari] or Arizal [the Ari of blessed memory].
Yitzchok bar Chaim is the pseudonym of the translator, an American-born Jerusalem scholar who has studied and taught Kabbala for many years. He may be contacted through: He translated the Ari's work, "Shaar HaGilgulim;" his translation into English (but with much less extensive commentary than offered here). Information about his translation in book form may be obtained through
Rabbi Chaim Vital c. 5303-5380 (c. 1543-1620 CE), major disciple of R. Isaac (Yitzchak) Luria, and responsible for publication of most of his works.
Rabbi Peretz Auerbach, originally from New York, has been living and learning Torah and kabbala in Jerusalem for 18 years. He teaches at Shvu Ami beit medrash, lectures in Kabbalah and chassidut at the Jerusalem Connection and Heritage House and to private groups. Rabbi Auerbach is also a talented musician. He is currently working on an all new translation of the Zohar into English with extensive commentary as well as a disc entitled "Music, Meditation and Mysticism."
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